Allan Sears, a Serious Silent-Film Scene Stealer

Allan Sears

Allan Sears


Allan Sears like so many actors of the silent era, had a career not easily tracked, especially one-hundred years removed. He was a leading man of some renown and considered a tasty acquisition by Triangle Pictures in 1917[1]; his heyday was confined to the non-talkies, slipping into smaller and uncredited roles with each step taken toward sound films.

Sears began his career in 1914, with Granny, starring Dorothy Gish and eighty-five roles later, (with much of his screen time going without acknowledgement) he made his final appearance in Cattle Raiders, in 1938.

In 1920 Sears was signed to play the lead in Kindred of the Dust, based on the novel of the same name, written by Peter B. Kyne, Frank Borzage was set to direct, with on-location shooting to take place at Big Bend, Oregon…[2] but the deal fell through; eventually (1922), Ralph Graves took the lead role and Raoul Walsh directed. Whether Sears felt burned over the aforementioned Kindred of the Dust project or that there were no roles available for him, he made no films in 1921 or 1922 and his only release of 1923, opened in November, Long Live the King, with Jackie Coogan and Rosemary Theby.

As the talking era came on the scene, Sears found himself with no work from 1929 through 1932, but, with Secrets in 1933, he found regular employment over the next four years; excepting ten movies, including his final role, all of his sound-film work went without credit.


The Serious Sears Silent-Film Scene:

The Birth of a Nation, 1915

Martyrs of the Alamo, 1915

Allan Sears as Davy Crocket in Martyrs of the Alamo

Allan Sears as Davy Crockett


The Mystery of the Leaping Fish, 1916

Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages, 1916

A Girl of the Timber Claims, 1917

Heart o’ the Hills, 1919

Allan Sears to the right of Mary Pickford


Rio Grande, 1920

Judy of Rogue’s Harbor, 1920



The Scarlet Honeymoon, 1925



By C. S. Williams


[1] Motography, Saturday, November 10, 1917

[2] The Washington Herald (Washington, D. C.) Sunday, November 14, 1920


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